Pravin Gordhan. Picture: ALON SKUY
Pravin Gordhan. Picture: ALON SKUY

A good week

Though we disagree with the department of public enterprises’ view that SAA is not a vanity project, this week’s vote in favour of the business rescue plan — more than six months in the making — is clearly a win for minister Pravin Gordhan. Whether it’s a win for the fiscus, which will now have to find R10.4bn somewhere to settle SAA’s liabilities and restart this cash-guzzling albatross, is another matter entirely.

Clearly, winding down the company was never an option in Gordhan’s mind. Let’s hope his stubborn insistence on a national carrier will not be the final nail in SA’s fiscal coffin, as it threatens to be.

US President Donald Trump. Picture: REUTERS/KEVIN LAMARQUE
US President Donald Trump. Picture: REUTERS/KEVIN LAMARQUE

A bad week

This week, Donald Trump confirmed his legacy as possibly the most corrupt US president ever, when he commuted the sentence of fixer Roger Stone, lest Stone rat on him. Stone was found guilty by a jury last year of obstruction of justice, lying to congress, and witness tampering.

Even Richard Nixon didn’t commute the sentences of those convicted in Watergate. Nor did Jacob Zuma step in to stop Schabir Shaik going to jail, even if Shaik later got scarcely credible "medical parole". As The New Yorker put it, Trump rewarded Stone for keeping his mouth shut: "It is, in other words, corruption on top of cronyism."

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